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Episode 7

Leading criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein examine whether a 1927 canalside murder by a man impersonating a police officer led to a miscarriage of justice.

Leading criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein reinvestigate a case in which an ex-policeman was convicted and hanged for the sexually motivated killing of an 18-year-old woman on a canal towpath.

Birmingham, 1927. A young couple, Olive Turner and her boyfriend Charles Broomhead, were walking along the canal towpath in the shadows of Winson Green prison. During their walk home they were approached by someone claiming to be a policeman, who told them he would accept a bribe not to turn them in. Olive and Charles found this suspicious and made a run for it. Charles was punched and knocked out, but Olive ran off into the night chased by the supposed police officer. The following morning, Olive’s lifeless body was dragged from the canal. But was she murdered or was her death an accident?

Thirty-two-year-old factory worker James Joseph Power, who had form for impersonating a police officer, became the prime suspect and was identified during a police parade. Throughout the investigation and subsequent trial, Power always professed his innocence. He continued to do so up to his execution in 1928.

Today, James Joseph Power’s grandson Mike and his wife Sue are adamant that Power was not guilty of the crime he was convicted for, so they are bringing the case to the barristers.

Sasha and Jeremy look into the motives in this case, leading them to examine the past of James Joseph Power, the eligibility of the hastily arranged police line-up, and the pathology of the crime. Can they find anything that would lead a judge to declare Power’s conviction unsafe?

18 days left to watch

43 minutes

Audio described


Role Contributor
Presenter Sasha Wass
Presenter Jeremy Dein
Producer Clare Wales
Producer Gary John Senior
Producer James Pearson
Series Producer David McConnell
Executive Producer Mike Benson
Production Manager Zlatina Rankova
Production Department Michael Klokkos
Production Company Chalkboard TV


Do you believe your relative was wrongly convicted of murder before 1975?

Do you believe your relative was wrongly convicted of murder before 1975?

If so, please get in touch with our production team.